WIM 3: Workers’ involvement in management – awareness, experiment, monitoring
The project WIM3 will help to deepen the understanding in participating countries of an importance of workers' participation schemes, and will serve employers' and workers' representatives as a tool to exchange know-how and experience. It will be helpful to familiarize all relevant stakeholders with EU law and policies, as well as serve as a facilitator for new developments to prepare/improve new/existing legislation on employee involvement, taking into account EU law and policies.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
In accordance with the EU values and needs in industrial relationships it is important to raise awareness of the significance of employee representatives’ role in companies not only in EU Members but also in countries that are in any stage of EU accession process. For this purpose, two projects – “WIM: Workers involvement for better and sustainable management in undertakings in Slovenia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia” and “WIM2: Workers’ Involvement – Straight to the Challenges” - were successfully implemented in the past. While the purpose of project WIM was to identify the current situation and existing legislation on employee involvement in undertakings (mainly) in Candidate Countries, as well as to initiate actions to familiarise national social partners, authorities and actors at company level with the content of EU law on employee involvement, project WIM2 was focused on searching the specific solutions or possible ways to transfer that part of the European legal order, which addresses the participation of employees, into the decision making processes.
Projects activities have shown that none of the participating EU Candidates have any legal framework on employee participation in undertakings. But all of them have well organized trade unions, established at all levels - company level, branch level and national level. EU Candidates have to work on the awareness raising of potential benefits of implementing the participation-of-workers model in the decision-making processes, as well as on the identification of challenges and mental barriers which could hinder such implementation. Key future challenge is not merely of legal nature, but a challenge of placing the institute of employees’ participation in decision making in existing legal and cultural industrial relations framework. It is necessary to work with trade unions in this issue in the future, to define their role in anticipated future state, and to consensually redefine the role of trade unions if deemed necessary, and delimit the role of trade unions and works councils in the future.
More, WIM3 project activities will be switched from generally informative to concrete ones. Namely, the experiment in pilot companies will be implemented (implementation of the draft legislation on employee involvement based on the solutions from the WIM2 draft of “Workers’ Participation in Management Act”). This will add value and introduce actual benefits of the employee participation in decision making processes. Activities and results will refer to all relevant stakeholders – governments, employers and trade unions, not only in countries, where the experiment will be implemented (Macedonia, Montenegro), but also in other EU Candidates and potential Candidates.
The project WIM2 did not include Serbia directly, neither Albania (it was not the Candidate Country at that time). However, according to the unofficially gathered information on the topic, the situation is rather similar to the one in Montenegro and Macedonia. Follow up project WIM3 will include Serbian and Albanian stakeholders in the same manner as Montenegrin and Macedonian stakeholders were included in the frame of WIM2 project. Transfer of know-how and experience will help actors at company level to better involve employees in positive decision management of change in this region.
Slovenia, Bulgaria and Croatia have successfully implemented employee involvement in undertakings model into national low. However, it is time to follow up on the findings of the “Fitness check” on national and EU acts in the state of information and consultation of workers. In this respect, in WIM3 an online survey will be made among employers to obtain sufficient information on the state of play of employee involvement and thus to obtain an overview of the adequacy of national legislation. Recommendations for improvements of national law in respective countries will be prepared, as well as necessary steps for a modernisation of labour market to facilitate the creation of more and better jobs and promote the competitiveness of the economy. Common opinion on adequacy of EU acts in the area of Information and Consultation of Workers will be prepared as well.
4 MAIN WORKSTREAMS OF PROJECT WIM3
Workstream 1: AWARENESS
Promotion and awareness raising of EU law and policies on employee involvement in undertakings, including more direct actions, e.g. providing expert support for drafting legislation on employee involvement, as well as expert support for creating favourable conditions for the setting up of mechanisms and national information, consultation and participation bodies (Serbia, Albania).
Workstream 2: EXPERIMENT
Further promotion and awareness raising of EU law and policies on employee involvement in undertakings, including more direct actions, e.g. experimental implementation in pilot companies of starting point for legislation on employee involvement based upon the solutions from the WIM2 draft of “Workers’ Participation in Management Act” (Macedonia, Montenegro).
Workstream 3: MONITORING
Survey among employers on their view of the existing legislation on employee involvement in undertakings and recommendations for its improvement as well as opinion on adequacy of EU acts in the area of Information and Consultation of Workers (Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria).
Workstream 4: MANAGEMENT
Overall content and financial management of the project, partner meetings / learning events and dissemination activities.
OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT
- to acquaint social partners and actors at company level with the relevant content of employee involvement and to instruct them on the importance of effective employees’ representation bodies to contribute to company decisions, reinforcing business competitiveness and results and more efficient coping with the challenges of global competition;
- to initiate transnational actions and co-operation for improvement of current situation of employee involvement in New Member States and Candidate Countries;
- to promote the EU law and policies on employee involvement in participating EU Candidates, namely through exchange of information, expertise and good practice, as well as to create favourable conditions for the setting up of mechanisms and national information, consultation and participation bodies;
- to examine the feasibility of implementation of the Acquis Communautaire (EU law as well as European standards, recommendations) in the EU Candidates, and of improvement of the existing national legislation in the New Member States;
- to adapt the relations between employers and employees to changes in employment and work related challenges (such as the modernisation of labour markets, quality of work and decent work;
- to strengthen cooperation between employers and employees for the development of employee involvement which could better address the consequences of the economic crisis.
Association of Employers of Slovenia (ZDS)
Croatian Employers’ Association (CEA)
Bulgarian Industrial Association – Union of the Bulgarian Business (BIA)
Business Confederation of Macedonia (BCM)
Montenegrin Employers’ Federation (UPCG)
Serbian Association of Employers (SAE)
Union of Albanian Business (BiznesAlbania)
Macedonian Confederation of Free Trade Unions (KSS)
Union of Free Trade Unions of Montenegro (UFTUM)
The Confederation of Autonomous Trade Unions of Serbia (CATUS)
The Union of the Independent Trade Unions of Albania (BSPSH)
Active supporting partner/external expert:
Confederation of German Employers’ Associations (BDA)
With support by the European social partner organisation:
With financial support from the European Union.